Two dramatic players take to the court as Barbora Strycova faces home favourite Alize Cornet for a ticket to the third round of the French Open.
(20) Barbora Strycova [No.21] vs Alize Cornet [No.43]
Overview: Barbora Strycova’s favourite surface hasn’t been the clay, but she has had a solid clay swing so far, her best result was a semifinal in Prague and winning a match each in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome. Her best results have come on hard courts though – reaching the semifinals of Sydney, and the fourth round of the Australian Open and Miami Open. An elusive Premier title has not come yet for the Czech though. Strycova hasn’t had the best of results in the French capital – she’s 9-13, with her best appearance a round 3 defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska last year.
After a final showing in Brisbane in her first tournament of the year, Alize Cornet has not made a semifinal since. Only managing three wins from February till the clay season, things did not get better for the Frenchwoman as she lost in her openers in Rabat, Madrid and Strasbourg. In fact, her only win of the clay swing was in Rome to home favourite Sara Errani. In her French Open opener, she took the scenic route in her win over Timea Babos – she had a match point up 5-4 (or 5-3?), but Babos forced the match into a decider. Cornet regained her composure to win the third set 6-2.
Head to head: Cornet leads the head to head 5-2. Intrestingly, Cornet won their first five matches before Strycova won the most recent two. In two encounters played on clay, Cornet won them, but the most recent match was in 2009!
Thoughts: In what promises to be a dramatic encounter between two emotional players, I feel Cornet has the edge in this match playing on home soil and her most preferred surface. Strycova has been more consistent throughout this year than the Frenchwoman, but Cornet always seems buoyed on by the home crowd and raises her level.